Mac OS X: Renaming mailboxes in Mail

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
May 14th, 2003 • 10:54 pm

There are several things that bother me in Mail in its current incarnation when it comes to mailbox management. The fact that you cannot SELECT a mailbox folder in the mailbox drawer without displaying its contents in the main area of the Mail Viewer window is one of them. The fact that the contextual menu that appears when you control-click on a mailbox folder does not stick if you release the mouse button immediately is another one.

Another quirk that I’ve just discovered is that you cannot rename a mailbox by simply changing the case of one or more of the characters in its name. For example, I have a mailbox called “[CPRPs]” that I wanted to rename “[CPRPS]”. When I tried to do this, Mail gave me the following error message:

Mail was unable to rename “~/Library/Mail/Mailboxes/CPRP/[CPRPs].mbox”.

and I had no choice but to dismiss the dialog by clicking on “OK”.

Worse still, after this happened, when I tried to SELECT the mailbox in question again to try giving it a different name, I got the following error message:

The mailbox “~/Library/Mail/Mailboxes/CPRP/[CPRPs].mbox” is currently locked by “Pierre Igot” on host “DualG4.local.”. If you open a mailbox that already is in use, you may damage its contents.

Mmm. Not good. The three choices in this dialog were “Open Read Only”, “Quit” and “Open Anyway'”. I chose “Open Anyway” and things worked fine — but it’s still worrisome when your own user environment starts developing a case of dual personality.

I felt safer quitting Mail altogether and relaunching it. Things appear to be fine now, but the problem is perfectly reproducible: If you want to rename a mailbox in Mail, you cannot just change the character case. You have to change the actual characters (and then change back if all you wanted was to change the character case).

(Interestingly, during the process of writing about this particular problem, I accidentally discovered that you can actually click on the contents of the alert dialog boxes that appear in Mail and SELECT the text in ORDER to copy and paste it INTO another document. That’s how I entered the text of the two alerts quoted above. I didn’t have to retype them. Neat.)

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